Learn more about Audiologists

Published on Jun, 15, 2021

Have you been referred to see an audiologist? Maybe you are wondering what they do and what to expect.  You are certainly not alone. In 2019, an average of 54 percent of Canadians between the ages of 40 and 79 had mild hearing loss in the high-frequency ranges. There is help available for you, and you have the power to take charge of your hearing. Technology in hearing healthcare is advancing every day.

So what exactly does an audiologist do? Keep reading to find out what audiologists do and what you can expect during your appointment!

Audiologists are health care professionals who diagnose and manage disorders of your balance and hearing. You might hear some people referring to them as an ear specialist or a hearing aid specialist. An audiologist's mission is to figure out the root cause of your hearing problem and help you with steps to improve your hearing. You need to have a master's degree from an accredited audiology program to become an audiologist . After that, you have to pass a licensure exam and fulfill the educational requirements.

 

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What Does an Audiologist Do?

When you see an audiologist, you will get assessed for:

  • Inner or outer ear hearing issues
  • Sound processing disorders
  • Evaluate vertigo (also known as Meniere’s disease) and dizziness
  • Ringing in your ears (tinnitus)

Depending on the situation, the audiologist may also refer you for further medical or surgical treatments. Our audiologists helps adult patients at our clinics. They also help in providing more information and educating their clients in regard to hearing aids, and its maintenance.

Audiologists continuously research the causes, prevention, and management of hearing loss, tinnitus, and balance problems.Audiologists also provide a vast range of services you don't necessarily think about, like:

  • Counseling, speech, and reading services
  • Develop and manage school hearing conservation programs
  • Can prescribe assisted living devices
  • Consults with teachers, nurses, or occupational therapists

Audiologists are essential to the way we interact with the world and live our lives. Untreated or under-managed hearing conditions can have a huge impact no matter what age you are.

What To Expect During a Hearing Exam

Knowing what to expect from your hearing test can make you feel much more comfortable about the process overall. Having a hearing test is so vital to your overall health. It not only helps detect hearing problems but potentially other conditions as well.

Before You Have Your Test

Before you have any hearing tests, you will have to meet with your audiologist and go through an admission process. You will have to fill out forms for your medical history, medications, and insurance details.

Let your audiologist & hearing care professional know about any symptoms or concerns you have related to your ears or balance. Next, the audiologist will talk to you about the tests they will do and why. This appointment is your time to ask questions!

Physical Examination

Next, your audiologist will do a physical exam of your ears before doing any other tests. An instrument called an otoscope can look inside your ears for anything abnormal.

They will also check to make sure you don't have any ear wax buildup, as this can lead to hearing problems if left untreated.

The Hearing Test

The hearing test will have a few different parts to it. These tests measure how well your ear functions and your general ability to hear. The tests will check your eardrum, middle ear, and how well your muscles work to protect them all from loud sounds. The test usually lasts less than 30 minutes and doesn't cause you any pain. You will have to wear earphones and listen to tones played at different pitches into your ears. You will be seated in a soundproof room, ensuring that there’s no background noise. Your ability to hear quiet, loud, high, or low-pitched sounds will determine the level of hearing loss you have.

 

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Your Results

The test results can be surprising at times. Quite often hearing loss and other findings come as a surprise to many especially when it's a gradual loss that slowly happens over time. You become so used to it thatyou do not notice the loss. Luckily, you can't fail a hearing test, and the results will do nothing but help you. The intensity of sound is measured in decibels, so you can expect to see ranges like:

  • Mild hearing loss is 26 to 40 decibels
  • Moderate hearing loss is 41 to 55 decibels
  • Moderately severe hearing loss is 56 to 70 decibels
  • Severe hearing loss is 71 to 90 decibels
  • Significant hearing loss is over 90 decibels

Slight hearing loss ranges from 10 to 15 decibels. The softest sounds, such as a whisper or water dripping, register under 25 decibels. The decibels measure how loud a sound has to be before you can hear it.

Treatment

You cannot restore the hearing you've already lost, but there are things you can do to ensure that there is no further decline in hearing. Based on your results, your audiologist may recommend hearing aids. There are a variety of hearing aids and the design and technology have evolved so much over the years. Some hearing aids sit in your ears, and some go inside of them. Then others are tiny and sit unnoticed behind your ears. You can learn more about the different types of hearing aids here  . Your audiologist may also recommend devices to make your phone or TV louder, as well as earplugs to protect your ears from loud noises.

An audiologist can help you improve your hearing and add more meaning to your life. At Amplifon, we take the time to understand your needs. We have a wide range of hearing aids that are designed to help you during your everyday life. These devices use modern technology and come with great features. Our experienced professionals can help to improve your hearing today. Schedule an appointment at an Amplifon hearing clinic near you.

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